News / Africa

EU Pledges Funds to Combat Cocaine Smuggling in West Africa

More than $20 million pledged to combat trafficking of Latin American cocaine bound for Europe

The European Union is funding new efforts to combat Latin American cocaine trafficking in West Africa.

More than $20 million in European Union financing is uniting Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Guinea, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau to combat the trafficking of Latin American cocaine bound for Europe.

The EU's new "Dakar Initiative" is meant to fund interdiction measures announced two years ago.

Last November, a Boeing 727 from Venezuela landed in the desert of northern Mali with a shipment of cocaine.  Drug enforcement officials say shipments are then broken up into smaller packages for smugglers to carry north across the Sahara through some areas controlled by an al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group that is active in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania.

Other cocaine shipments from Latin America arrive on West Africa's coast where they are smuggled to Europe by sea.  Nowhere is that destabilizing influence more pronounced than in Guinea Bissau where drug gangs use dirt airstrips on offshore islands.

Mahamane Toure directs political affairs for the regional Economic Community of West African States.

"The police, the justice system, and the prison system with the threat of the drugs have been almost reduced to nil [nothing].  They do not have any capacity.  They need to be building capacity to have vehicles, telecommunications systems, to organize training to be able at least to tackle the issue of the drug barons who are roaming everywhere in the region now," Toure said.

As law enforcement officials pay closer attention to smuggling routes, some drug gangs are working to increase production inside West Africa.

Sa'id Djinnit heads the U.N. office for West Africa:

"Drug trafficking is still going on.  And there are indications that now they are trying to establish themselves in the region to produce drugs in the sub-region.  And also to encourage the consumption of the cheapest kinds of drugs in the sub-region," Djinnit said.

Law enforcement officials in Guinea last year uncovered seven storage sites for chemicals that could be used to refine narcotics.  If those products were used to make the drug ecstasy, the United Nations says its market value would be more than $180 million.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid